Lynden employees are known for getting freight delivered even when natural disasters present a challenge. When Hurricane Dorian was bearing down on the Bahamas and Florida last year, Lynden International Operations Agent Craig Wilson made sure the customer was taken care of. "Two trucks were headed from Chicago to a boutique in Palm Beach, FL to deliver stone fixtures. The customer was nervous about the location flooding, so Craig made the decision to divert the trucks to our Miami dock, hold the freight and then deliver when the storm passed," says Chicago Operations Manager Jason Hiti-Shannon. "Credit goes to our Miami team who, with little notice, made last-minute arrangements to receive the freight and deliver it after the storm. They also were on a storm watch and had their own shipments and personal concerns to deal with. The situation was a great way to show the shipper that we care about their business and protecting their freight." According to Giovanna Aquilino, Lynden's Senior Account Executive in New York, the customer appreciated the extraordinary effort and she expects more business from them in the future.
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Drivers in all Lynden companies were celebrated during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week this past September. Pictured to the right, Anchorage Lynden Transport Drivers enjoy banana splits during their break as well as thermal drinking bottles to take on the road with them. "Some Service Centers had barbecues or pizza. The goal was to fill the week with a big thank you. Unfortunately many of our drivers miss the activities because they are on the road providing unbeatable service to our customers," says Steve Schultz, Director of HSSE at Lynden Transport in Seattle.
Patrick Sloan, Software Developer II for Lynden Incorporated, has climbed Mount Baker, Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier all in one year with his wife Rachel and members of a glacier climbing group. He is pictured above at the Mount St. Helens summit in April. "We have summited three of the five Washington glaciers with this climbing group," he says, "and we represent Lynden by wearing our green jackets."
In August, LTI, Inc. continued its sponsorship of the Mt. View Belgians draft horses and shows at the Northwest Washington Fair in Lynden, WA. The horses are owned by Lynden Driver Dan Weidkamp and his wife Heather. The Weidkamps also participated in the Western Rodeo Parade as part of the Washington State Fair in Puyallup, WA this month. Pictured to the left, Dan is at the reins with fair board members in the back of the LTI, Inc. wagon.
"It was nice to see a lot of new faces and old ones return to the picnic," says Sandy Hartman, LTI, Inc. Operations Specialist in Lynden, WA. "We start the planning process in January and, with a lot of help from a lot of people, it turns out fantastic."
Approximately 1,200 Lynden employees, family and friends were in attendance at the 2019 Picnic on Aug. 3, an increase from last year. "The weather was perfect," Sandy says. "Retiree Jeff Kok and his crew did an amazing job cooking the fish. Doug Gustafson celebrated his 40th picnic cooking the beef for us." Although Sandy retired in August, she vows to be back every year to celebrate with her Lynden colleagues which she describes as a "great bunch of people." Thanks to Lynden Retiree Ed Johnson for taking pictures for us again this year!
Alaska West Express Driver Brian Ambrose took first place in the Tanker Class at the Alaska Trucking Association's 20th Truck Driving Championships June 1 in Anchorage. Brian is pictured with Jamie Faria Benson of the truck driving championship committee. Brian has almost 40 years of commercial driving experience and has competed in the ATA truck driving championships every year since 2005. He has collected an assortment of trophies including three for state champion and best overall in 2015 as well as being named ATA's Driver of the Year in 2016. He will head to Pittsburg in August to compete in nationals. Alaska West Express Drivers Edward Tuia, Joseph George and James Elliott also competed in the June 1 Alaska championships, along with Lynden Transport Drivers Billy Mast, Doug Longerbone, Jack Sorensen, Jeff Clark and Stephen Hill.
"Pam's Law" was signed by Washington Governor Jay Inslee this spring, easing the burden on grieving families and payroll departments across the state. An amendment to an existing law "concerning an employer's payment of indebtedness" increases the amount Washington employers may pay the survivors of deceased employees. The previous law in Washington allowed Lynden to pay the survivors directly, but only up to $2,500. "Lynden Payroll Supervisor Pam Sorenson asked us to get a bill introduced in Olympia to increase the limit to $10,000," explains Lynden General Counsel Everett Billingslea. "We called it Pam's Law."
"The previous law left families unable to collect all of the final paycheck or unpaid vacation for a family member without opening probate or appointing an executor – a high and expensive hurdle," Pam explains. "The minimum of $2,500 doesn't go far with household expenses and funeral expenses." Lynden partnered with Senators Keiser, Van De Wege, Salomon, and Saldana to sponsor the bill. Senate Bill 5831 passed the legislature unanimously and was quickly signed into law by the governor. "It was a proud moment for Pam and for the entire company," Everett says. For more information on the bill, visit http://bit.ly/PamsLaw.
Tags: Lynden employees
A Lynden customer appreciation event in Valdez brought old friends together. Lynden Chairman Jim Jansen (far right) is pictured with Marie Blood, wife of Slim Blood, Lynden's first Alaska employee. Slim opened Lynden's first Fairbanks terminal in 1958 and established Lynden's early reputation for customer service. The new location was a WWII Quonset hut and meant drivers didn't have to unload their own trucks or stay overnight. Marie, her son Russ, grandchildren and great-grandchildren all attended the event in Valdez. "Between us, we could name every Alcan driver in the pictures in the #27 museum," Jim says. "Marie hosted dinners for the drivers when they arrived in Fairbanks, making them feel at home. She now resides in Valdez."
When a water main broke in the small community of Kake, AK, the mayor and two city employees put out over 2,000 feet of fire hose to bypass the blown-out section. While that solved the problem for businesses and homes, it did not provide drinking water. Alaska Marine Lines and Arrowhead Transfer teamed up to donate three pallets of bottled water and shipped it to Kake to be distributed to the 10 percent of homes still in need of potable water. "I distributed the water just days after the break and received many thanks and high praise for the companies' kind gesture," says Arrowhead Operations Manager Adam Davis. The companies also received a thank-you letter from the mayor and city manager.
The quick response of new Alaska Marine Trucking Driver Andrew Lawson saved company equipment and prevented the loss of three new cars belonging to a customer. Alaska Marine Trucking delivers vehicles to an auto dealership in Juneau twice weekly, year-round, with a specialized car-hauling trailer. Andrew was on the road to the dealership when he heard a loud ‘BOOM!’ He saw flames in his rear view mirror, pulled over and saw the trailer was on fire. The brakes of the trailer overheated and the brake drum blew in a fiery explosion. This, in turn, caught the inside trailer tire on fire, destroying it.
Andrew grabbed the fire extinguisher from his truck and quickly put out the flames. After the incident, he inspected all the gear and freight involved, and called his dispatcher. Fortunately Andrew and the cargo being transported were unharmed. Dispatcher Carolyn Smith contacted the dealership, and Andrew was able to unload the cars safely to complete delivery to the customer. "Thanks to his quick thinking and actions, Andrew saved the customer's shipment and Alaska Marine Lines what might have been a total loss of our equipment. I would like to recognize him for using his safety training, quick thinking and fast actions to save a disaster from happening," Carolyn says.